WATERFORD manager Davy Fitzgerald has sprang more than one surprise in naming Waterford’s starting 15 to face Clare in Monday’s Munster senior hurling championship semi-final at Thurles.
For the first time the Shanahan brothers from Lismore, Dan and Maurice, will line up together in the attack with Maurice, who featured in the losing U21 side against Cork last Wednesday, set to make his senior championship debut at top of the left.
However, another set of brothers, the Prendergasts, Seamas and Declan have both been left out of the team and must settle for a place on the subs bench.
Tallow’s Aidan Kearney is also left out, with his place at left half back going to Jamie Nagle, who had been sidelined for several weeks with a hamstring injury picked up in a club game with Dungarvan.
There will be a championship debut in the troublesome full-back berth for Fourmilewater’s Liam Lawlor who has edged out Tallow’s Mark O’Brien and Declan Prendergast.
Tony Browne at right half back will be having his first competitive game since last year’s All-Ireland semi-final defeat against Kilkenny.
There’s a new midfield pairing in Shane O’Sullivan and Richie Foley, and in a revamped attack that features Dan Shanahan’s return at right half forward, the team will be captained by Stephen Molumphy on the opposite flank.
Clare boss Ger O’Loughlin has opted to give championship debuts to seven players for the clash with the Déise.
Donal Touhy, Cian Dilon, Conor Cooney, Nicky O’Connell, Sean Collins, John Conlon and Darach Honan all come in to make their first starts.
Monaghan boss Seamus McEnaney has opted to given two players their Ulster championship debuts in tomorrow’s SFC clash with Armagh in Casement Park. Colin Walshe, who lines out at corner back, and Kieran Hughes, who is named at wing half forward, are the two debutants on a team that boasts a wealth of experience.
There is however no starting place for Eoin Lennon who is back after a lengthy layoff or Rory Woods who was a regular during the league but they are two very strong players to have in reserve.
John Paul Mone who missed out on some of the league through injury is preferred at midfield as opposed to the full back line but the change sees him revert to the role he played when he first donned the county jersey.
Wicklow manager Mick O’Dwyer has made three changes – two enforced – from the side that defeated Carlow for tomorrow’s Leinster SFC quarter-final against Westmeath.
Ciaran Hyland returns from injury to replace Patrick McWalter – who has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a broken kneecap against Carlow – at right half back, while JP Dalton comes into midfield to partner James Stafford.
The other change sees Paddy Dalton replacing the injured Dean Odlum at top of the right.
WATERFORD (SH v Clare): C. Hennessy; E. Murphy. L. Lawlor. N. Connors; T. Browne. M. Walsh. J. Nagle; R. Foley. S. O’Sullivan; D. Shanahan. K. Moran. S. Molumphy; J. Mullane. E. Kelly. M. Shanahan.
CLARE (SH v Waterford): D Touhy, P Vaughan, C Dillon, C Cooney, B Bulger, D McMahon, P Donnellan, B O’Connell, N O Connell, S Collins, J Conlon, J Clancy,
F Lynch, D Honan, C Ryan.
Subs: P Brennan, M Flaherty, D O’Donovan, C O’Donovan, D Barratt, A Markham, M Murphy, M Scanlon, G Quinn